You can call it “mobile marketing.” Or perhaps “text message marketing.” Or even simply just “text messages.” But I bet you never thought to call it “health messages.” Regardless of the new terminology, that’s precisely what some text messages have turned into- messages containing information to help you be a healthier person.
Take the federal government for example. The White House launched a free text message campaign for expectant mothers this year called “text4baby”. Via this program, messages are sent out containing information such as health tips, appointment reminders, and recommendations for community resources, all timed to a woman’s due date. These messages continually enforce prevention, reminding pregnant women to make prenatal care a top priority. (Find out more at: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/05/07/free-text4baby-service-moms-and-moms-be-growing-fast .)
As the car industry continually transforms itself and its cars, the way it reaches out to customers would also benefit from some updating. To be frank, a lot has already been done. Car companies have websites that offer “make-it-yourself” tools in order to virtually customize cars and get a better idea of how the end product will look. But just like car engineers were asked to spend more time and research dollars on hybrids over SUV’s, car company marketing departments should focus on a new, powerful way to get people into dealerships and close deals.
What can adding text messaging into your dealership’s promotional and marketing plan do? Quite a lot, actually. Take this example:
You’re investing into a radio, TV, newspaper, or online advertisement. You have chosen the perfect, concise wording to get people interested. However, it’s just not enough to get them in the door. Why? The buyer wants to know things like horsepower and whether there is an option for all wheel drive, and of course, how much the car would cost. Now, imagine you had added a simple line like this: “text AUTO to 46786 for questions about our vehicles or for the nearest dealership.” The consumer then texts in questions, making your advertisements truly interactive, and most importantly, buyers get answers they need to motivate them to come into your dealership. Opt It’s software allows you to answer each text message individually, so you can enable your dealers with the power to answer customers’ important questions via the system. This functionality gives you the ability to track new leads and determine how many turn into sales.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute released a study demonstrating the benefits that mobile technology offers in terms of healthcare. The healthcare industry is now packed with mobile devices designed to improve the standard of care and convenience for patients. Forty percent of the respondents surveyed indicated they would pay for mobile health care services.
Mobile technology is not only an aid to consumers, it’s also a new business category for those interested in improving and offering more options for preventative, acute and chronic care. There are already 10,000 medical and healthcare/fitness-related applications available for download to internet-enabled mobile devices, and consumers are catching on to the idea of being able to send data to doctors automatically.
Faith-based organizations are the latest industry to wholeheartedly embrace text messaging as the most convenient and instantaneous communication medium available. Churches, mosques, and synagogues alike have been signing up for Opt It Mobile 3.0 because they realize that their audience depends on cell phones, especially the younger generation, and that there’s no better way for them to reach their members. Being able to communicate on a large scale, as well as a one-on-one basis, has definitely caught their attention.
These organizations have also noticed an increased use of text messaging as the primary form of communication among their members. Opt It customers send prayer reminders, Bible and Qur’an quotes, donation requests, enhanced outreach efforts, community updates, and religious event notifications via text and have witnessed a great deal of acceptance within their religious communities.
Two recent articles regarding communication caught my attention this week, both pertaining to the restaurant industry. I thought I’d share them with you and give you friendly, hardworking restaurant owners some insight about how restaurants are using text message marketing to not only increase revenue, but also to improve employee relations and motivation.
A May 2010 survey conducted by Harris Interactive discusses the level of consumer interest in receiving text alerts, with the majority of respondents opting for messages received from the restaurant industry. Interest varies by age, but with 18-34 year olds showing a 44 percent interest in text alerts and 35-44 year olds reporting a 29 percent interest, it seems advertising in the form of text alerts is a natural fit for this age group.
The article goes on to explain that the most desired text alerts are coupons and promotions, so restaurant owners and managers can save some money, and a few trees, by skipping printed ads and simply send a mobile coupon.
It’s not just your customers that are waiting for a text from you – your employees are, too! This week Nation’s Restaurant News reported that major restaurant chains, such as Auntie Anne’s, are tapping into text messaging not only to communicate with customers, but to communicate with employees as well. As Which Wich sandwich shop owner T.J. Schier puts it, “You need to get into the world of your employees in order to reach them.” Managers and owners are now using text blast services like Opt It Mobile 3.0 to send schedule changes, meeting reminders, and even accolades. The main reason restaurant managers have chosen this form of communication is because they know their employees will always get the message and even text back, whereas trying to get a response from a phone call or email can be rough. If you’re a restaurant owner and you still haven’t tried text messaging as a major form of communication for your business, it’s time to jump on the mobile marketing bandwagon.